Hello everyone! Praying that each of you had a wonderful fun filled summer. Hope you had time to share Jesus with family and friends. Being home in the states for a few weeks in June was one of relaxation, refreshing, reflection and loving on our children and sharing the love of Christ. We enjoy and cherish the time with our loved ones holding the wonderful memories dear to our hearts.
This year has defiantly been one of change some bad and some good. Even still, in the month of July, the Lord brought more changes into our lives. He truly has us on a great adventure. Now to give an update on things that has been happening here since our return.
When we returned to Belize, we were contacted by the department of Human Services, telling us they had 3 maybe 4 girls they would like for RRV to consider for residents in the transition home. After pray- fully reviewing each profile our board came to the conclusion we were not adequately trained nor did we have the right facility to accommodate the girls that were recommended. This was such a very hard choice for us and was not taken lightly.
On July the 25th we were contacted by another ministry, telling us of a University student that needed our assistance. We agreed to meet Silvia, and almost immediately a bond was made. Silvia was placed in RRV on a trial basis, she came to live with us on July 28th, (her trial period is over and she is now a resident at RRV). She is currently enrolled in the University of Belize majoring in Computer Science. She is an awesome Christian young lady full of spunk and life. Silvia has accepted a job, where she will be working at the Art box. Please pray for Silvia as she faces life challenges.
A week later we had a call from a counselor in Belize City, introducing us to another young lady, Kamesha. Kamesha came to RRV on August 4th. Like always when the girls transition in, it is for a trial period. She was a University student as well, her major was in accounting. Kamesha was with us for 2 weeks, during that time she turned 18 and decided to return to Belize City, where she is continuing her education, living with her aunt.
August 1st the Lord brought some very dear friends back into our lives, Kathryn Hardy and her sons David and Stewart, and John and Linda Lewis, they came in a few days before all the weeks’ busy-ness and ahead of the team Stewart was leading.
John and Linda told us they felt the Lord sent them to minister to us … little did they know just how and what that would be. The two of them were sent by the Lord to help us during a very busy and emotional time and with the girls. Gene and I are so thankful for them and the time we were allowed together.
I was blessed to see my dear friend Kathryn again; saddened by the reasons she was here. Gene and I helped with hosting the Fishers of Men team. Stewart Hardy led a basketball camp and one of the board members, Greg Stephenson led the construction team as they added an addition on to one of the dorms at Cayo Deaf Institute.
On August the 3rd, a memorial service was held for our dear friend and mentor Buddy Hardy. Many of our fellow missionaries as well as locals came to share in the celebration of this awesome man of Gods life. For the many years of service here in Belize and for his faithful service on the board of the Baptist Training Center one of the buildings was named the “Hardy House “in Buddy’s honor.
Even in sadness the Lord brings forth miracles of joy…Gene and I celebrated our 40th year of marriage on the 3rd. The both of us are praising the Lord for such an awesome accomplishment.
We had such a wonderful time with John and Linda before they left on the 22nd. Then a few days of down time before the next guests arrived.
The 29th RRV/ FOM hosted a young lady from Riceville Iowa. Hannah, (a high school student) came to audit classes here at a couple of the local High schools. She attended Belize Christian Academy and Cayo Christian. While here she was invited to tour the American Embassy and meet the US Ambassador. Hannah was honored to have such an invitation. We totally fell in love with Hannah, she and Silvia became fast friends and had a great time of fellowship in the time allotted.
On the same day as Hannah’s arrival, another young lady came. Jennifer came to work through Child Development Foundation here in Belmopan. CDF specializes in educating people on the issues of abuse of all kinds, human trafficking and counseling for those individuals who have a need. Jennifer will be working with them and staying with us until the middle of October. As I write this Jen is in Dangriga town with CDF. Their goal for this visit is to make sensitive the topics of abuse and trafficking to the schools and the teachers the police officers and those in places of authority.
September 9th, only for one day we were blessed with some very special folks from Newport Tennessee. Gene and I are so thankful that we were able to see (uncle) Jerry and Sharon Bryant. These two are very dear to us. While they were here they visited the two students they sponsor for school. I always receive a blessing when I see the faces of the children and the sponsors light up when they see each other.
On September 12th, Gene and I through FOM welcomed Parrie Lakes Church from Cedar Falls Iowa. PLC is Hannah’s home church. Upon their arrival she joined with her team. Their team consisted of a Dental and Construction team; working in the school of Blackman Eddy.
The construction part of the team was able to bless the school in building a new class room, while the dental team ministered to the students, to their families, as well as the teachers, the team saw around 100 patients for the week. Such a blessing to serve with this team!
Now we are at the end of September and still the Lord has many new adventures ahead for us. Many of you know that back in January of this year we lost the lease to the house RRV is currently in. Gene and I and Redemption Road Village will join with Fishers of Men, as the two become one for a season of time. The joining of the 2 ministries will mean that we will be moving into the FOM ministry house. Along with the girl (s) we have in RRV.
As we have been doing for the past months we will continue to do; hosting teams and assisting Fishers of Men in the daily activities of the ministry, and continuing to minister to the young ladies at Redemption Road as the Lord places them into our home.
We are seeking the heart of our Savior as the future unfolds. Please keep us in your prayers that we would prayer- fully and obediently follow the Lord’s guidance in both ministries.
Blessings Gene and Liz Watkins Gal. 2:20